The Road to AECs Runs Through the Event at Archer

Photo courtesy fo Allison Murphy.

Having run its very first event last August, the Event at Archer in Cheyenne, Wyoming, is a relatively new name within the USEA omnibus. But despite debuting a short time ago it’s already cemented its place on the Area IX calendar and proven its importance to the local eventing community.

Last year’s inaugural Event at Archer was a smashing success with over 160 competitors in Starter through Training divisions, outdrawing every other national event in the area.

Allison Murphy has been the driving force behind the creation of the Event at Archer after recognizing the need for a sanctioned event and cross country facilities to school in Southeastern Wyoming and Northern Colorado. Allison is backed by a fabulous committee which includes renowned course designer and builder James Atkinson of Revisionist Equestrian, who has brought his talents to the Archer course; Melinda Hofmeister, member at large; Tory Poulton, treasurer; and Allison’s husband Jon Murphy who brings his extensive business acumen as an advisor.

Archer’s banner event runs August 24th – 26th. Taking place just one week before the AECs are held at the Colorado Horse Park, it’s the perfect opportunity for a last-minute prep run before heading down to the Championships. In addition to the Starter level and the USEA recognized Beginner Novice through Preliminary horse trials, the summer event will also be offering combined tests for Training through Advanced levels.

New prelim jumps awaited staining over the winter before their debut this weekend. Photo courtesy of Allison Murphy.

The Archer Equestrian Complex is centrally located to many different events in the area and is just two hours away from the Colorado Horse Park. Not only does the summer event offer a final competitive experience before the AECs, but the cross country course will remain open throughout the following week and the Event at Archer Committee welcomes anyone who wishes to stay and school the course or take advantage of a variety of clinicians in preparation for the Championships. On-site camping spots and RV hookups at the Archer Equestrian Complex are readily available and extremely affordable, making it easy to utilize the schooling opportunities at their beautiful course which offers modern construction and questions for all levels.

Archer has added a second event for the 2018 calendar — the Spring Event at Archer — which runs this week, May 31st – June 3rd, and has a little over 180 competitors entered. With the cancellation of several events for the calendar year at the Colorado Horse Park, venues in Area IX have rallied to fill the calendar spots and provide needed outings for competitors in the area looking to qualify for the AECs.

Photo courtesy of Allison Murphy.

“The goal of the spring event is to offer another qualifying show for the region as well as to continue to support and grow the sport we all love in Area IX,”  said Allison Murphy.

The spring event marks the inaugural Preliminary level competition for the venue. Additional fundraising and sponsorship is ongoing and will facilitate building future levels. The Event at Archer Committee has also applied for a 501(c)3 status which will allow for tax-deductible support from sponsors and donors.

The Event at Archer Committee and some of their key sponsors have delighted in offering competitor gifts and swag, a boatload of prizes, adult amateur awards, young rider awards, and seriously gorgeous ribbons. Anyone who ends up not completing the competition receives a coupon for free cross country schooling.

Plaques for sponsors, supporters, and memorial jumps ready to go. Photo courtesy of Allison Murphy.

“We want everybody to be successful. We want to extend goodwill and let people know that we’ve all been there,” Allison said. “Competitors don’t have to go home empty-handed. They can stay and school after the event or come back for schooling another time. We’re very happy to have them.”

Anyone headed to the AECs would be remiss to overlook the Event at Archer — an event run truly for the competitors — the success of which is a testament to the strong will of a group dedicated to seeing eventing thrive in their area.

Go Area IX and Go Eventing!